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CANGrow's Off-World Food Innovation Will Benefit Earthlings Too

In a significant leap towards sustainable living on other planets as well as in remote Earth locations, Team Partners Ecoation and Maia Farms have won the grand prize of $380,000 in the prestigious Deep Space Food Challenge. Organised by the Canadian Space Agency and Impact Canada, in collaboration with NASA - the challenge aimed to find innovative solutions for food production in space.


CANGrow's innovation is an advanced food production system designed to meet the dietary needs of astronauts on missions to the Moon, Mars, and possibly further. This system, small enough to fit into a compact space, is capable of producing over 700 kilograms of food annually, including a range of crops like dwarf tomatoes, strawberries, lettuce, and a novel mycoprotein ingredient called CanPro, derived from mushrooms.


Maia growing unit

Source: Ecoation - Maia Farms


Beyond its application in space missions, CANGrow promises to revolutionise food supply in Earth's remote, under-served, and disaster-affected regions. It features quick setup, autonomous climate control systems, and operates on standard power, making it a versatile solution for food production challenges worldwide.


The CANGrow system was developed through the collaboration of Ecoation, known for its AgTech solutions, and Maia Farms, a pioneering FoodTech company specialising in mycelium-based protein production. This system is not only designed to grow plants but also to sustainably meet the complete nutritional needs of individuals, incorporating innovative technologies for efficient growth, waste reduction, and nutrient recycling.


Maia - Bioreactor unit option

Source: Maia - Bioreactor unit option


Gavin Schneider, CEO and Co-founder of Maia Farms, says a long standing dream of his has come true. "What began as a childhood dream to grow food on the Moon has now turned into a reality. Our success in the Deep Space Food Challenge is a testament to our innovative approach and commitment to creating sustainable food systems for space exploration and beyond," says Gavin Schneider.


This achievement clearly illustrates the potential of CANGrow technology supporting ambitious human space missions at the same time addressing urgent food production challenges on Earth.


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